Everyday consumers routinely encounter marketing efforts that promote an endless variety of brands and products. Unsurprisingly, consumers are weary, guarded, and circumventing any attempt by marketers to gain their attention. Experiential marketing thus engages consumers on a more intimate and personal level by building meaningful connections through shared moments and events. Princewill Ekwujuru sought the views of Gil Kimani, new Managing Director of EXP Marketing Nigeria, who has had experiences in African markets.
I am not sure if the Nigerian market is actually strange, but I think the market is a bit more challenging compared to other markets, giving the swell size of the country. Having operated in a 22 million to 40 million population market is different from having to do business in 170 million population market. Strange!. I don’t think, but challenging, no matter how challenging it is, it poses for more opportunities. From the experiential marketing stand point, giving the challenging nature of the market, it, shows that there is more need for us as experiential marketers to be sure that our brands connect with consumers, and as such we have to deploy tools and tactics that will get the brand we manage or look after get higher share of the consumer heart.
You are right, when there is a likely economic crunch, the marketing department is the one CEOs always look into, and the first point of call of cutting budget. Is it actually the right strategy?. That is up for debate, there have been a lot of discussions and whitepapers around such strategies. There are those that are completely against it and have put up rational defense, that is why it is not naturally a good move. So far as I have witnessed in the past weeks or so, marketers have now understood that there is the need to keep momentum in respect of their brand presence. As much as you know across board there will be some reduction in terms of spending in terms of professional budget. I do not believe they will completely cut into the marketing budget. I think however that there will be a reduction in spend. The challenge that is actually posed is how do we take that same one dollar and generate a true value out of it. I think for any marketer this is actually the idea condition, because in terms of opulence we tend to spend without too much regard to what they do. In this respect, we have to do it right, look for the right solutions, not to go for qualitative kind of approaches, but not quantitative kind of approaches. I think we might have a bit of reduction, I think we will see more brands being loud, because, like us in EXP, in whatever we do we give value. We give more voice to the brand.
Creativity and Innovation:
We are always prepared to be creative and innovative. I think gone are the days when one could employ the same tactics overtime. I think without the down turn the country is facing right now, consumer habit had habit overtime has been changing. Today we are into the digital world, the digital space, today consumers touch point meet brands at different levels, today consumer touch points are no longer what they used to be some years ago, right now what we think about is what the channel means, what the touch point means. So that has forced us over the years to be innovative, how to go about it. Digital, mobile and social marketing have become important means in everything we do. So innovation is something that marketing will always subscribe to, we do not wait for such market condition to force us to be innovative, actually because we have always been innovative in everything that we do, that you know being able as a company to stay as the leading experiential marketing company.